Thursday, September 16, 2010

Syrup for Coughs and Congestion

It's been about a week of sneezing and coughing, so I got pretty fed up with the whole thing today. Time to pull out the big guns. Oddly, elderberry just didn't do the trick this time. I shudder to think how nasty this could have gotten without it, though.
Today I made a syrup specifically for this thing that seems to fluctuate between my head and my chest. I got out some Osha, Licorice root, Elecampane, Wild Cherry bark, Ginger, and Lemon to start a decoction. A decoction is different than an infusion, because roots and barks need to simmer for a period of time, while infusions involve leaves and flowers that are steeped in boiled water for a few minutes. There is another, newer definition of infusions, but for our purposes, this will do.
I filled a small pan with water, and put all ingredients except the lemon in to simmer for 45 minutes. I added the juice of a lemon for the last 5 minutes.After it was done, I strained it out. You can see here that my favorite method of straining things is with a steel mesh strainer lined with fabric from an old tshirt. As shirts wear out, they are washed and cut into squares for this purpose. They work beautifully.
There was 2/3 of a cup of decoction, so I measured out 2/3 cup of sugar, and added a good dollop of honey. At that point, I also added 1/2 ounce of goldenrod tincture.
It all went back into the pan, and was brought to a boil for a few minutes before being poured into bottles.The decoction alone could be drunk without being made into syrup, and I will make some more for after dinner tonight. It's nice to have it ready to go, though.

Interested in making medicines for yourself and family? Look here:
http://woodwifesjournal.blogspot.com/p/herbal-medicine-chest.html for a gathering of recipes and methods.

12 comments:

PeggyR said...

Those sound interesting. Do you have any recipes for a stroke victim's runny nose during meals?

Tina Sams said...

Sorry, Peggy, but I don't. I guess the steam or warmth from the food starts the nose running, and most of us just sniff, but perhaps a stroke victim might not have that urge. Every stroke is different, too. I hope you find a solution.

Granny Sue said...

Have you ever used goldenseal (or yaller root, as my mountain hubby calls it)? It is recommended for all chest/throat problems.

Tina Sams said...

I used to use it a good bit, but it has become endangered so try to use alternatives. There are so many wonderful herbs out there it isn't hard to find them! I miss goldenseal though, I admit it.

VintageSage said...

This is wonderful!!! I would love to try this, especially with flu season coming up. Thank you for showing us how you did it!

Reggie said...

Wow !!! Great explanation for decoction process. Very useful information. I use propolis, mullein, Elder and eucalyptus mixture. It also contains menthol and agave syrup. Usually it works for me. But now I want to try your recipe. Thank you for posting this, Tina.

Tina Sams said...

Yours sounds good too, Reggie. Except I stay away from the agave. Newer information shows that it is actually equivalent to HFCS, and is often adulterated with the corn syrup!

skin whitening said...

Wow.I want to try to make it.
These pictures are very helpful.
Thanks a lot.

Wanderer said...

Hi, Tina! Thanks for sharing this great cold and cough remedy with the us at the Herbal Medicine Chest! Would you please include a link back to us. Looking forward to reading more here and I hope you'll visit again. Thanks!

Tina Sams said...

Oh! There ya go, Wanderer :-)

Tammy said...

How do you make the Goldenrod Tincture?

Tina Sams said...

Just cut the flowering tops of the goldenrod plant, stuff loosely into a jar, and cover with vodka for a month or so. Strain - and you've got goldenrod tincture :-)

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